As I said about Autodesk's offering, Stingray, I think that even a giant like Amazon is going to have an uphill battle bringing a new game engine into mass use. Having been testing game engines just this week, I'm reminded just how much of an ecosystem has built up around Unity in particular - displacing an engine with that is like displacing Wordpress as the dominant blogging engine.
It's early days yet but they've got some serious catching up to do. For example, it appears that 3D assets can only currently be created in Max and Maya (no Blender, no Cinema4d), as rather than using FBX or similar as an interchange format they're using their own custom formats with an exporter. Most other game engines stopped doing that a while ago, for good reason.
Likewise, the level editor is either underdocumented or feature-light. The docs currently just cover creating terrain and vegetation. I assume that the engine has the capability to handle non-outdoor scenes too, but it's not explicitly documented anywhere I can find in a quick look.
There's also no documentation on non-sky lighting, lighting builds, light types, or similar that I can find. There's one mention that the engine supports Global Illumination, but no details as to whether it's realtime or requires a bake process. Searching for "lighting", "lights", or "light" in the documentation returns no results!
Interestingly, there's a full-featured cinematics system, which means it's of considerable interest to me, but that's very much a minority thing.
I wish them luck and I'll certainly be checking it out, having said all that. Another fully open-source 3D engine is no bad thing.
Small correction; it is not open source: https://aws.amazon.com/lumberyard/faq/#Licensing
> Q. Is Lumberyard “open source”?
> No. We make the source code available to enable you to fully customize your game, but your rights are limited by the Lumberyard Service Terms. For example, you may not publicly release the Lumberyard engine source code, or use it to release your own game engine.
So according to them it's not even "open source".
If it is open source software (which this is emphatically and expressly not), it is FOSS.
You can charge as much as you like for FOSS.
Open Source is not the same as Source Available.
They've hired several ex-Crytek engineers at the Foundry 42 office in Frankfurt, and among other changes have modified the engine to support a 64 bit data in coordinate system and rendering, multithreaded physics, and independent physics grids for inside the larger ships while they're moving around. Probably other things, but those are the main ones.
Nearly every AAA game is going to fit into that pattern, it's just that the 64 bit coordinates overhaul in Star Citizen is probably a larger and lower level architectural change than what most things bother with.
Well, this is Amazon we are talking about - they like dancing to the beat of their own drum. They also forked Android.
More competition is good. It means Unity won't be able to stand still and we'll get to see more features and interesting ideas. Cloud + Twitch integration? Pretty cool!
There might be a lot of competing blogging engines, but there's only really about 3 that have any significant market share, and you can explain why each of them are has at least one radically superior feature to Wordpress in about a sentence and a half.
Alembic is an open 3D file format supported by pretty much all the major 3D modellers these days - including Blender, Modo, Houdini, Cinema4D and plenty of others besides the Autodesk tools.
Neither Unity nor Unreal currently support Alembic - this is the first indication I've had that the Amazon engine might have some features the others don't.
Speaking of which, Maya LT is not that badly priced for what you get - I have no animation ability but I've seen my friends do some incredible things with it. If you're artistically inclined, have a play. Regardless, the lack of Blender support makes me sad.
As a side note, Maya added Python as a scripting language a while back. You can also write plugins in C++, which can be a nice way to write custom exporter code sharing engine code files for file formats and such.